Friday, March 28, 2008

Bar-Hopping 101: Tipping

In the world of over-priced drinkage, tipping is a dastardly gray area. It's a double edged-sword wherein you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

There are indeed varying degrees of opinion on this matter, a la the famous Reservoir Dogs clip in which Mr. Pink explains his adamant philosophical opposition to tipping:

But don't let that fool you! No tip = no hooch!

The game is a rotten one:
Tip too little and you don't get any service from the snooty bartender hocking the overpriced, over-iced swill. But tip too much and you can't make rent your night ends early!

Here are a few tricks we've learned to institute an effective tipping method that will
a.) get you noticed so you get drinks faster and
b.) ensure the barkeep is satisfied with your contribution:

1. Tip Early
Don't wait until you're a couple of drinks in to lay down the scratch. Not tipping right away is the bar-going equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot and not having and alcoholic god-send to relieve the pain.

2. Tip Big
Don't bother with the dollar game. Play a face card right away to ensure prompt and consistent service: $10 minimum on your very first drink. Gamble on $20 if you know you'll be there for a while.

3. Publicize It
This one's important kids: be sure your bar steward sees you lay down that Benjamin!

Do not simply leave it on the bar in place of your smiling Chevy Chase. You need to make it obvious who is leaving the prize if you want to reap the benefits.

After all, leaving a tip is expected, intrisically un-special and is only noticed when it is excessive or when it is omitted.

Be of the former and you'll be big-pimpin at the bar all night. Be of the latter and you'll not only get the mental blacklist of the bartender but, if you're obnoxious enough, you could land in the negative favor of your city's entire service staff.

Believe us, these people talk.

Leave a tip. If it can't be huge, at least be consistent.


Stiff the bartender, ya jerk!
But don't go broke over-tipping either. After all, the profit on that vodka-soda is easily 75% more than the cost!


Anonymous said...

An economical (read: cheap) way to deal with tipping is to take turns with friends in buying rounds of drinks instead of one-offs.